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T-Shirt Tote Bags

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A fast and fun project that reuses old t-shirts is making tote bags with them. You can add clothing labels to the inside of each bag as a way to personalize them for use as gifts. You can also sell them in an Etsy store filled with your crafts, too.

You’ll need:

  • Old t-shirts in good condition and free from holes (youth XL to adult sizes)
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Pencil
  • Dinner plate
  • Scissors
  1. Lay shirts on flat surface and remove the sleeves using the scissors. Do not remove the seams within the sleeves, as those make the tote handles strong.
  2. Position the plate over the neckline of the shirt. Trace this area using a fabric pencil. Cut along the area you just traced.
  3. Turn the shirt inside out and pin along the bottom hem. You want to close the bottom off.
  4. Sew along the center of the bottom hem of the shirt. This ensures it is strong enough to hold heavy loads. Do not forget to backstitch here to make the seam stronger.
  5. Add gussets to the bottom if you wish. You can also use the scrap sleeve material to make pockets on the outside of the totes.
  6. For added protection on the straps, you can reinforce the hems there. You can also braid or add other designs to the straps or outside of the bags. The sky is the limit, here. These are so easy to make that you can have each one ready in under 10 minutes.

For gift ideas for the upcoming holidays, and to learn about our selection of labels, contact us at It’s Mine!